Tonight's Stumptown Comics Foundation/Comic Book Legal Defense Fund Benefit Dinner—with guests Jeff Smith, Craig Thompson, Farel Dalrymple, Brian Michael Bendis, Derek Kirk Kim, and more—is "darn close" to selling out, I've just been informed, so hop to it if you're interested. Details here; tickets are $100 for the dinner, but a pre-dinner cocktail party is free and open to the public; that's 5:30 pm tonight at PNCA.

Also tonight, Guapo Comics is hosting a Stumptown kickoff party from 7 pm-11 pm.

The festival itself starts out strong tomorrow, with an 11 am panel featuring Gail Simone in conversation with a Dark Horse editor about her work, followed by a panel with Jeff Smith. Full schedule here.

The dilemma of the weekend arises tomorrow night at 8 pm, when the Stumptown Trophy Awards and Comics Art Battle overlaps with the Blazers' first playoff game. (Fuck you, universe.) That should be fun; it's co-hosted by web cartoonist Carolyn Main (that's her poster up there) and KUFO's Fatboy Roberts, of the Cort and Fatboy Show (on which it just so happens my boss Wm. Steven Humphrey is now appearing every Friday at 3 pm to offer penetrating insights about television; and THIS my friends is how you make an echo chamber).

Read more about Stumptown here and here.